October 23, 2023
Imperial Dunes, CA
After arguably one of the most difficult Rebelle Rally courses, teams enjoyed a day off Saturday in the Imperial Sand Dunes (Glamis). Teams and partners were treated to massages, TOTAL CHAOS Fabrication Hot Laps, and competition demos before gathering together for Rebellation, an awards ceremony presented by Jeep, and Gala in the desert. Final Standings were posted earlier and are as follows:
In a nail-biting ending, Rivian R1T of Team #187 Limestone Legends (Lilly Macaruso/Alex Anderson) finished at the top of the podium for the 4×4 class, earning a custom trophy and $5,000 each toward next year’s Rebelle Rally as their prize. For the first time in Rebelle history, a fully electric vehicle won the top prize with the support of Renewable Innovations whose MEC-H truck provided the necessary charge throughout the event. The team was also the top finisher in both the Electrified and Bone Stock designations. The first-place team has held these honors for the past two years showing that the vehicles in your driveway are more capable than you think, and fuel preferences continue to trend green.
Second place for the 4x4s was Team #129 4xEventures (Nena Barlow/Teralin Peterit) in their 2024 Jeep Rubicon 4xe who won multiple stages throughout the Rally but ultimately had to sacrifice some points on the final day, giving the lead to Rivian. In third place was Team #188 Dirt Hustle (Laura Wanlass/Maria Guitar) in a 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor.
The top finisher of the X-Cross™ class was a repeat-winning driver with a new teammate and also ran one of only two Bone Stock vehicles in the competitive crossover class. The Ford Bronco Sport came in first place yet again with Team #200 Built Wild (Melissa Clark/Jessica Moore), who both are Bronco Off-Roadeo trail guides. The team also won for the X-Cross™ Bone Stock designation. The Ford Bronco Sport has been at the top of the X-Cross™ podium for the past four years, since its reintroduction into the American market. Rounding out the podium is the all-new BMW X2 M35i with Team #205 Wild Grace 8.0(Rebecca Donaghe/Sedona Blinson) which is the first time Rebelle Rally has had a BMW on the podium which took second place and then the 2024 Kia Telluride X-Pro with Team 206 KiAloha (Verena Mei/Susie Saxten) in third.
Always a coveted award, the Rookies of the Year awards were a battle among a strong group of 27 rookie teams across 4×4 and X-Cross™ classes. Taking home the award for the X-Cross™ class was Team #212 Hells Bells Rally (Nicole Rotondo/Serena Halterman) running in a 2023 Honda Passport. The team had a strong support group of other crossover competitors who helped them win this title. In the 4×4 class, the team that ultimately took home the Rookie of the Year award was Team #182 Octane Adventures(Myra Padda/Sandra Li) in their 2023 Toyota Sequoia. The pair are engineers for Toyota PE and are one of six teams representing the popular brand in this year’s Rebelle Rally. The second place Rookies of the Year for the 4×4 class is another Toyota Sequoia Team #183 Go2Genba (Heather Eich/Allison McGowan) who met at work with Toyota R&D. Rounding out the top three rookies was Team #122 Team Rex Bronco(Toni Hlavnicka/Caralina Carlson) with a 2023 Ford Bronco Badlands Sasquatch.
In the 2023 competition, Official Rebelle Rally partner Pirelli sponsored a contingency competition for any vehicles that were running their tires during the competition. The top finisher who was running Pirellis was also the 4×4 who won the overall competition, Team #187 Limestone Legends (Lilly Macaruso/Alex Anderson). Their 2023 Rivian R1T has sported Pirelli tires since starting their journey in 2022 where the team was the top Rookies of the Year.
Additional awards were given for the International Cup, the international team that finished with the most points which was once again Team #144 CanToy Divas (Liza Tough/Sue Chapin) who hails from British Columbia, Canada as well as the Team Spirit Award which is designed to promote and encourage a positive spirit in the midst of focused competition. Winners of the Team Spirit award are voted on by their fellow competitors and the team that showed this in abundance in 2023 was Team #204 Mountain Subie(Carey Lando/Dorothy Rake) with their 2014 Subaru Outback.
To close out the night, a special award for Perseverance was given to Team #117 Brouck Sisters(Maureen Brouck/Hortense Brouck) who were so driven to compete in the Rebelle Rally they moved to the United States from France for a year to prepare for the event. Their savings from working went toward the 1998 Jeep TJ that carried them through the rally and across the finish line.
Teams will now reflect on the journey they have just completed and already start their preparation for next year’s competition. Registration for the 2024 Rebelle Rally is now open. A limited number of spots are reserved for rookie teams. Follow the link below to register now.